Clarington asking for EA for Durham York Energy Centre’s capacity increase request

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Published March 16, 2022 at 11:20 am

Clarington wants a full environmental assessment for the Durham York Energy Centre (DYEC) before a temporary capacity increase becomes permanent.

Council heard from environmental advocates Wendy Bracken and Linda Glasser – both of whom have made repeat visits to Town Hall to state their case – last week regarding the facility, which saw its annual capacity increased from 140,000 tonnes to 142,000 tonnes late last year as a ‘temporary’ measure.

The plant can handle 160,000 tonnes and both Durham and York regions are finalizing an Environmental Screening Process and an ECA amendment to increase the annual processing capacity at the DYEC to 160,000 tonnes per year.

Bracken said the responses from Durham Region during the public comment period “do not resolve key issues” and that a detailed technical and health assessment “that only an individual environmental assessment can provide” is needed.

Gasser called Durham’s answers to valid public concerns “inadequate” and cited elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and other toxic chemicals as reasons enough to demand an EA.

Clarington agreed and directed staff to submit an Environmental Assessment elevation request to the Director of the Environmental Assessment and Approvals Branch at the Environment Ministry. They also want the ministry to “confirm their review and acceptance of the air quality modelling methodology, data inputs, and Air Quality Impact Assessment, and respond to concerns regarding elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and benzo[a]pyrene in the local airshed.”

Staff was directed to prepare a briefing document on planned future development in the South Courtice Area and how it relates to emission dispersion from the DYEC.

The vast majority (110,000 tonnes) of the waste the facility receives is from Durham Region.

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